‘It’s only three days to the beheading and I’ve got no idea what to wear’: BBC faces viewers’ backlash over ‘tasteless and insensitive’ comedy show featuring the ‘Real Housewives of ISIS’
- Real Housewives of ISIS shows Muslim women discussing fashion and husbands
- They take selfies wearing suicide belts as though they are fashion accessories
- Sketch show blasted ‘morally bankrupt’ for mocking the victims of militants
- Many in Syria have been kidnapped from conquered villages and are raped
A BBC comedy sketch called The Real Housewives Of ISIS’ has sparked a furious backlash after being branded ‘tasteless’ and ‘insensitive’ by viewers.
The sketch show, a satire of an American series about wealthy housewives in New York and Beverly Hills, depicts Muslim women taking selfies wearing suicide vests.
One of the characters bursts into tears because her husband ‘won’t stop talking about his 40 virgins’, a reference to what suicide bombers are promised in paradise.
One woman appears in the suicide vest, which she claims her husband has ‘surprised’ her with in The Real Housewives Of ISIS clip, which was posted on BBC 2’s Facebook page
Two of her friends take video of the woman in the vest, later saying they will post them in Instagram with the hashtag ‘Jihadi Jane’.
Vanessa Beeley said called the BBC ‘utterly abhorrent’ after seeing the clip, which prompted a massive backlash online
Although Peter Riley defended the video, adding that the best way to stop ‘impressionable young people’ joining the group is to ridicule them
The show has been branded ‘morally bankrupt’ for mocking the plight of the women in Syria and adding to the ‘negative stereotype’ of women wearing hijabs.
The clip, posted on BBC 2’s Facebook page, has polarised opinion, with many among the 64,000 comments praising the sketch as ‘brave’ for daring to mock terrorists.
In the video, one character is heard joking: ‘It’s only three days until the beheading and I’ve got no idea what I’m gonna wear.’
Another tells the camera says ‘I have been widowed five times,’ then a bomb goes off in the crumbling building and she add ‘…six times’.
One character claims ‘It’s everything those guys in the online chatrooms said it would be,’ a reference to British jihadi brides who flew out after being radicalised online.
Moments later she is seen scrubbing the floor and saying under her breath: ‘Didn’t have to do this in Birmingham.’
The BBC sketch, The Real Housewives Of ISIS, depicts jihadi brides talking about fashion and their husbands, just as in the shows based in New York and Beverly Hills
One character, Afsana, takes a selfie as she talks about the fact there is only three days until the next beheading
Afsana then adds ‘and I’ve got nothing to wear’ to the beheading in a satire of the way the wealthy women of the American show talk about fashion
The women then start to argue as though they are women from the American TV show when a ‘jihadi wife’ arrives in a matching suicide vest
Two friends who realise that their fellow jihadi brides plan to wear the same outfit look at each other and say ‘awkward’
At the end of the episode, one cries about the fact that her husband always talks about the ’40 virgins’ he will get in paradise.
One character posts pictures on Instagram with the hashtags ‘OMG’, ‘Jihadi Jane’ and ‘death to the West’ after a friend appears in a suicide vest that her husband ‘surprised’ her with.
The women then start to argue when two of the housewives appear in exactly the same outfit, similar to the way in which characters in the American show argue over trivial matters.
‘She knew I had that jacket. Copies everything. Copied this,’ she says, gesturing to the black hijab that all of the women in the clip are wearing.
One viewer, Vanessa Beeley, called the broadcaster ‘utterly abhorrent’ after seeing the clip, which is from sketch show Revolting, which aired on Tuesday night.
She wrote: ‘You are going to joke about mass rape too or the use of children as suicide bombers or make light of your role in promoting extremism to deceived and abused women. Sick, you are truly sick in the head and morally bankrupt.’
But the show (pictured) has been blasted as ‘morally bankrupt’ for mocking the plight of the women in Syria, many of whom are kidnapped and raped by the militants
The clip polarised opinion, with some claiming it is ‘not funny at all’ (top), while others in the comments below calling it ‘fantastic’ for poking fun at these ‘morons’ (ISIS)
It was described as ‘disgusting’ for making light of those killed in Syria. One commenter called it ‘the lamest, least funny excuse for a “comedy” I have ever seen’.
Waseem Khan wrote: ‘This isn’t funny. I don’t mind satire (I enjoy decent satire like ‘Four Lions’), but this is a poor effort. Not only does it mock the very real oppression suffered by women caught under the yoke of ISIS, it’s also very badly written. I mean, it’s so bad that it makes Citizen Khan look half decent.’
One viewer said that it ‘added to the negative stereotype’ of women wearing hijabs in Britain. Another claimed it ‘perpetuated stereotypes’ when women in Syria were ‘genuinely fearing for their lives’.
Anna Butcher wrote: ‘Bad taste, not funny at all. With everything going on in the world, I’m sure those who have been effected by Isis, or been victim’s of them, or the relatives of those killed in terrorists attacks, won’t be laughing.’
Although it was enjoyed by some viewers. Timmy Poncho wrote: ‘This is fantastic…….people bang on about politically incorrect humour ….this is brave & funny & about time we poked fun at these morons! Even Muslims will love this!’
Eloise Nora wrote: ‘People here clearly missing the point of satire: the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Its characters laugh and joke but the reality is that many of the women taken as brides in Syria have been kidnapped and are victims of sexual abuse
A number of Muslims jumped to the defence of the clip, saying that they weren’t offended as it mocked terrorists, not people from their faith
Eloise Nora said that those who were offended are ‘clearly missing the point of satire’.
Peter Riley wrote: ‘I don’t usually comment on stuff like this but the stupidity of some of the people on here is just painful. One of the best ways to stop young impressionable people from joining isis and the like is to make them look as ridiculous as possible. So in that way this show could do some good. Get out of your safe space and into the real world you babies.’
A number of Muslims also commented on the piece, defending it and highlighting that they were not offended because it mocks jihadis, not the faith.
Syed Hussain said: ‘I am a Muslim and I am not gonna lie I was laughing so much not because they are mocking Islam (which frankly they are not, as it has nothing to do with Islam) but because they are mocking terrorism. Ignorance is the root cause of all terrorism.’
Shimul Barak wrote: ‘As a Muslim I find this HILARIOUS! Brilliant! The satire is on point highlighting the pathetic ideals of a pathetic group like ISIS.’
The BBC has so far declined to comment on the sketch, which is part of the show Revolting. It is produced by Hat Trick Productions, which also makes political panel show Have I Got News For You and comedy Outnumbered.